Asia

Bangladesh to ban Islamic TV channel, Peace TV

Kashmiri Muslims hold placards and shout slogans during a protest in favour of Islamic scholar and Peace TV founder, Dr. Zakir Naik in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, 08 July 2016. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Zakir Naik is a preacher with Peace TV, a 24 hour TV channel, which is broadcast from Dubai in English, Urdu and Bangla

Bangladesh has said it intends to ban the Islamic television channel, Peace TV, in the wake of the deadly attack on a cafe in the capital, Dhaka.

The government's decision comes amid fears that hardline views on the channel could radicalise youth.

A preacher on the channel, Zakir Naik, denied allegations his words could have inspired the attackers.

Gunmen killed 22 people when they stormed the Holey Artisan bakery in Dhaka earlier this month.

Bangladesh's Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said that "administrative steps" would be taken towards the banning of the channel.

"Peace TV is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh's Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals," Mr Inu told online news outlet Bdnews24 hours after the cabinet committee on law and order decided to ban the channel.

The 24-hour TV channel, is broadcast from Dubai in English, Urdu and Bangla.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Naik is the founder and president of Mumbai-based charity organisation Islamic Research Foundation

Mr Naik, 50, is the founder and president of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, which owns Peace TV.

He was once banned from entering the UK for what was described as "unacceptable behaviour".

But he has denied an allegation that one of the gunmen in the cafe attack was inspired by his speeches, accusing Bangladeshi media of sensationalism.

"I spoke to Bangladeshi government people. They told me that they do not believe I inspired this Bangladeshi terrorists to do this act of killing innocent people," Mr Naik is quoted as saying in local media.

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